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Wellingtonians recognised for giving their absolute best


Stephanie McIntyre’s championing of the cause of Wellington’s homeless for more than a decade illustrates how some Wellingtonians will go above and beyond the call.

McIntyre – and 12 other Wellingtonians - have been recognised this year with an Absolutely Positive Wellingtonian award.

The 13 recipients were presented with their certificates by Mayor Justin Lester at an event at City Gallery Wellington on Wednesday evening.

The winners’ contributions to the community took many forms, from years of service to their ethnic communities and to the marginalised to the arts, swimming and education.

“It’s our city’s people who make this such a special place to live,” the Mayor says.

“These awards are about acknowledging the people who selflessly give so much to our communities – people who volunteer their time and effort to make our city a better place.”

For the past 14 years McIntyre has been Director of Wellington’s Downtown Community Ministry.

She has been a champion of the most marginalised Wellingtonians throughout her working career, regularly speaking out on issues that affect the poorest, most vulnerable citizens.

Under her leadership, the ministry has developed a unique way of working to ensure people are valued, treated with respect and their mana enhanced. Her involvement has helped to improve and even turn around the lives of many of society’s strugglers.

The 13 winners are:

Taruna Bhana has worked tirelessly for the Wellington Indian Association for more than 10 years. She has helped to look after the organisation’s large complex in Kilbirnie, making prudent decisions in relation to property, investment and membership.

Carol Comber has been a driving force behind residents group Mt Cook Mobilised since it was formed 11 years ago. She has brought her project management expertise to her community role and has that vital skill – knowing how to make things happen.

Tānemahuta Gray has made an enduring contribution to performing arts in Wellington since starting ballet as a six-year-old and studying the dance form alongside kapa haka. He is the Kahukura of Taki Rua Productions and has transformed the once struggling company, which last year toured the major work Tiki Taane Mahuta. He is also dedicated to keeping Wellington as the centre of creativity in New Zealand.

Steve Hind and Gary Hurring. Hind, father of Commonwealth Games medallist Tash Hind, and a staunch advocate for swimming, and Hurring, a top New Zealand swimming coach, Olympic finalist and Commonwealth Games gold medallist, have been at the helm of a nine-year project to transform the pool at Wellington East Girls’ College into a fit-for-purpose community facility.

Stephanie McIntyre, Director of Wellington’s Downtown Community Ministry for 14 years, she has been a champion of the most marginalised Wellingtonians throughout her working career, regularly speaking out on issues that affect the poorest, most vulnerable citizens.

Todd Morton owns Easyswim Swim School, which has been running in the northern suburbs’ school pools for 12 years, and has taught children as young as three months through to adults how to swim. The swim school is not about profit for Morton, he just loves seeing children progress and swim well.

Shelagh Magadza’s tenure as Artistic Director of the New Zealand Festival, it has engaged the wider public and interested more people in the arts through large-scale opening events, attracting top international artists and supporting the development of New Zealand work.

Roger Moses stood down this year after 23 years of distinguished service as headmaster of Wellington College. Under his leadership, Wellington College built a remarkable record in national examinations. The school always shone in NCEA and was even more impressive in Scholarship, often being the country’s leading school.

Colin Ryder has been involved in numerous Wellington conservation projects for 30 years, including the purchase of Baring Head and the establishment of Taputeranga Marine Reserve. He also managed the eradication of mice on Mana Island (the largest such project internationally at the time) and has been involved in Forest & Bird, Friends of Mana Island, the Wellington Natural Heritage Trust and the Matiu/Somes Island Charitable Trust.



Lloyd Scott was a pioneering actor on the Wellington theatre circuit, and became famous for his television advertisements as Barry Crump’s sidekick Scotty in the 1980s. His broadcasting career started in 1965 and last year he retired after more than 50 years in radio.

Grant Stevenson’s passion for the capital city never wavers - for the past 22 years he has managed, and often created, remarkable events that have contributed to Wellington’s creative reputation. He is a strong arts advocate and for 15 years he has also been involved in Gillies McIndoe Research Institute, helping establish it in custom-designed premises for cancer research.

Bernice Williams joined the Wellington branch of the National Council of Women in 2005 and is in her second spell as its president. She has also been involved with Ngaio Playcentre, the Wellington Playcentre Association and Ngaio Primary School. She has also been heavily involved in basketball, managing several school and age-group representative teams, and taking teams to the United States.”

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